Those cancer demons, again

Well, a visit to the neurosurgeon revealed a tumor on the outer membrane of his brain and so he will be going into surgery on Tuesday. They want to remove this before it can get into the brain; hopefully it has not yet and the doctor indicates it is contained there but needs to be removed. A 3 1/2 hour surgery and titanium plate should be the answer. Radiation after surgery will be done, as will more radiation to the spine, and chemo after all radiation is complete.

It is very hard to make lemonade out of the lemons right now. We keep getting hit with more cancer concerns that must be addressed and the spine is one area he can’t have surgery done, so radiation and chemo is all we can do for that.

Fingers crossed that Tuesday is a success. Then I can make lemonade.

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A little set-back

We thought the road ahead was clear from cancer. My husband went through esophageal treatment last summer, with radiation, chemo and surgery (removing the esophagus and resectioning to stomach; recovered nicely) and a final round of chemo in Feb this year to zap all the lingering meanies. Well, lo and behold, a few renegades lingered and he has a tumor on his spine that caused tremendous pain for two months until it was found with an MRI in July, last month. Needless to say, we felt like we had been hit by a truck. It was wonderful to finally get his pain diagnosed and treated, but we had not expected this.

He was immediately put in the hospital (from doctor’s office visit down the hall, he walked into hospital admitting) for more tests, and radiation started within two days. That’s how urgent it was. He was on radiation for two weeks and now has two weeks “off”. He’s ready to start chemo in two weeks for a 9 week session (three 3-week rounds).

I had a “to do” list for around the house, but now that’s all on hold. I am going to keep doing a few little projects around here that I can manage and will post what seems worthy, watch the hummingbirds, work on my genealogy, and probably some posts including our 3 year old grandson’s visits.

Since we have been through this before it’s not quite as daunting to think about, and no surgery this time, but still it kind of puts your life on hold. Since his immune system gets destroyed during treatment, he must avoid crowds and sickness, so we tend to not go anywhere and he may not feel like it anyway. The wedding we planned to attend in Kansas City will have to be declined; the visits to our grandson in Okla City will have to be delayed. He cannot drive and will have to work from home as he is able (as an architect, a lot of things he can do from here; job site visits he cannot do). I run my errands as needed by myself. I’ve been doing all the yardwork (mowing 4 acres or our 26, and planting and working the flower beds before the scorcher weather set in) as he has been recovering from his last chemo.

Last year we were building a new house amidst his treatments, and so this year it is nice to be in the house and not have any additional stress with that. Looking for any silver linings I can think of.

I researched this type of tumor, and 5-10 percent of all cancer patients develop it. It is not operable as it is in a very sensitive area of nerves and things. Chemo and radiation will hopefully kill the cells and keep it from spreading, and maybe shrink it down a bit to relive some pressure. He may have pain to be controlled from this point on, and will need to be monitored and dealt with as needed. He will be on regular monitoring
with CT, MRI and bone scans. He just filled out all the paperwork for his disability insurance assistance.

Heading into fall, we can just hibernate for several weeks and enjoy the cooler weather that I hope is heading our way.

Not ready for Fall

I love the warmth of summer, even in it’s scorching worst, unless I have to be out in it much. Now that we don’t have alpacas to care for and chickens to worry about in the heat, there is less anxiety and I don’t have to be in that heat if I don’t want to. This summer has been really pleasant and we have had some nice intervals of wet and rainy weather that cools everything down for a a few days.

I’ve been trying to keep all of our new trees well watered. The nursery we bought them at installed them for us (what a blessing that is) and gave us a watering schedule for each month. Right now, for July and August, we water daily. I have one row of trees hooked up so I can water three at a time which saves me time. They are a distance from the house and I only have to move the hoses twice to get them all watered in an hour. The other three trees are just a few steps off the back porch and are easy to handle; I usually take that time to rock in the porch rockers and listen to the birds and watch the hummingbirds flit about.

When it gets really hot and miserable outside, I work on my computer on my Genealogy, or plan something to sew. I really like the website FabricGuru.com for great discounts and they price designer fabric odds and ends pieces really, really low. I need some new and interesting pillow covers for Fall.

Seeing all the new Fall merchandise on the shelves already always gives me a bit of anxiety knowing that soon the leaves from the trees will drop and the days will get shorter. And I must always remind myself that we still always have nice weather here usually up till Thanksgiving when we start getting winter blasts. We are originally from Kansas, so I have vivid memories of really nasty weather up there.

This week it’s hot, reaching the 100’s. I need to work on more of my flower beds, but I don’t like planting anything in this heat. I did have some zinnia seeds bloom and they are always a sturdy plant in the heat. My Coneflowers are my second sturdiest heat bloomer.

Back to tree watering and porch rocking.